1858, 16 th January
Incendiary Fires near Conisbrough
On Saturday night last, an alarm was given in the parish of Conisbrough that a wheat stack belonging to Mr. Thomas Fearn, farmer, of that village was on fire, and on going to the spot where the stack stood, which is about a mile from the village, in the direction of the cliffs, the rumour was found to he correct, and also a small stack of lints and oats, the property of Mr. Stacy, farmer, was in flames.
Great efforts were made to extinguish the fire, but, owing to the strength of the flames, they were ineffectual; and the whole was destroyed.
A person residing at Cadesby was the first to discover the fire. Seeing the reflection in the sky he proceeded towards the spot, and gave an alarm. There seems to be little doubt that both fires were caused by an incendiary, and it remains to be ascertained whether some vagabond mendicants perpetrated the act, or other persons more intimately acquainted with the locality. There are no farm premises abutting close upon Mr. Fearn’s stack, and it seems quite impossible that any burning embers from it could have been carried to the other, which was about 100 yards distant. Information of the affair was given at the West Riding constabulary office in Doncaster, and on Mr. Astwood going over, he found the Homes subdued, and the whole of the straw consumed.
Mr. Fearu`s loss, which we understand is covered by the North of England Fire and Life 0tl:ice,is about £l6, the weight of straw being about eight tons. We have not heard whether Mr. Stacy is insured ; but if not, the damage is nominal, not reaching .£2.
The police, we are glad to learn, are instituting a very strict enquiry into the affair, and it is to he hoped that the perpetrators will not remain long undiscovered.